Understanding Infertility

If you are trying to conceive from a long time but pregnancy is just not happening then you or your partner may have some medical issue which you need to check out. Take some time to understand what infertility is and what can cause it. Then discuss it with your doctor to find out your next step.

What is Infertility?

When you are not able to get pregnant after a year of regular unprotected sex is called infertility. Women who are older than 35 years or do not have regular menstrual cycles and not able to conceive in a period of six months of regular sex should also consider an appointment with a fertility expert. Infertility does not mean that you cannot have a child over 50% of couples eventually have a baby with medical help.

Infertility Just A Women Problem?

Infertility is a common problem of the reproductive system which can affect both men and women. Often it is thought that infertility is just a women’s problem but it is not true. Though male infertility contributes to over half of all cases of childlessness globally but infertility remains a social burden on women all over the world.

According to most recent data, in around 20% of infertile couples, both partners have fertility issues. In around 15% of infertile couples, after all, tests no cause of infertility is found, this kind of infertility is known as unexplained infertility. Infertility is becoming a fairly common problem which is estimated to affect over 186 million people worldwide.

What causes infertility in men?

Men infertility can be because of various factors but one of the most common reasons for infertility is a problem with sperms such as:

Low sperm count: Means there are very few or no sperm in your semen.

Sperm motility: Your sperms do not move as they should.

Abnormally formed sperms

You have a blocked sperm duct

A temporary drop in the sperm count because of testicles injury. For example, if your testicles were too hot for too long or you took the drugs which affect the way you make sperms. Exposure of testicles to prolonged heat can affect the shape and number of sperms.

Some other factors which can cause infertility in men are:

Certain medical conditions such as diabetes, trauma, cystic fibrosis, infection, testicular failure, chemotherapy or radiation.

Unhealthy habits including too much smoking, heavy alcohol use, illicit drug use, etc.

Exposure to environmental toxins including pesticides and lead.

Age also affect fertility, men who are older than 40 years have lower fertility.

How do I know if I am infertile?

The main sign of infertility is not getting pregnant. You may or may not notice any other symptoms of infertility. Symptoms of infertility also depend on what is causing it. There are various health conditions which make it hard to conceive and sometimes there is no cause of infertility.

Potential Signs of Infertility in Men

In men, it is hard to identify the symptoms of infertility but some of the symptoms are:

Pain, swelling, or lump in testicles

Small and firm testicles

Problem with erections and ejaculation

Change in sexual desire

Change in hair growth

Potential Signs of Infertility in Women

Change in the menstrual cycle and ovulation is one of the main symptoms of infertility in men

Abnormal bleeding: bleeding is lighter or heavier than usual.

Painful periods: Extreme back pain, pelvic pain or cramping.

Irregular periods: Usually periods occurs on every 28 days if the number of days between each period varies it is called irregular periods.

No periods: You never had periods or your periods stopped suddenly.

Infertility in women can also be because of hormones. In that case, symptoms can be:

Change in the skin including acne

Hair growth on lips, chin, and chest

Hair loss

Change in sexual desire and drive

Weight gain

Other symptoms of infertility in women can be white discharge from nipples, pain during intercourse.

When to consult with a doctor

If you are under 35 years of age and actively trying to get pregnant from past one year but it is not happening then you must visit an experienced reproductive endocrinologist without further delay. If your age is above 35 then you must visit the doctor after six months of trying. With advanced tests, your doctor may discover why you are not getting pregnant.

Infertility Treatments

Infertility depends on various factors and some cause can be corrected with treatments. Infertility treatments depend on various factors including:

Cause of infertility

How long you have been infertile

Your personal preferences

Infertility treatment for men

Improving lifestyle and behavioral factors such as including regular exercise, discontinuing selected medication, eliminating harmful substances, etc. can improve your chance of getting pregnant.

Medication: Sperm count and the chance of getting pregnant can be improved with the help of certain medications. These medications can increase testicular functions and improve sperm production and quality.

Surgery: in some cases with surgery fertility can be restored.

Sperm retrieval: These techniques can be used when sperm count is low or no sperm is present in the semen.

Infertility treatment for women

These are several different kinds of treatment available for women such as

Stimulating ovulation: With the help of fertility drugs ovulation can be regulated. This treatment is for women who are infertile because of ovulation disorders.

Surgery: Uterine problems such as endometrial polyps or intrauterine scar tissue can be treated with hysteroscopic surgery.

Intrauterine insemination (IUI): In IUI treatment healthy sperms are placed in the uterus around the time of ovulation.

If you are facing infertility issues, you do not have to worry there are various treatment available which can help you in increasing your chance of having a baby.